Sagittarius C

The star-forming region Sagittarius C (Sgr C) is about 300 light-years from Sagittarius A*, the Milky Way’s central supermassive black hole. This NIRCam (Near-Infrared Camera) image from JWST reveals an estimated 500,000 stars in Sgr C. A large region of ionized hydrogen, shown in cyan, contains intriguing needle-like structures that lack any uniform orientation.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / CSA / STScI / and S. Crowe (University of Virginia)

An Edge of the Cygnus Loop

 20,000 years ago, a star exploded leaving its remnants to expand into space. The resulting nebula, called the Cygnus Loop, forms a bubble-like shape that is about 120 light-years in diameter. The distance to its center is approximately 2,600 light-years from Earth.

Astronomers used Hubble to examine a very small slice of the leading edge of this expanding supernova bubble, where the supernova blast wave plows into surrounding material in space.This close-up look at a nearly two-light-year-long section shows filaments of glowing hydrogen.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / STScI

Hubble and JWST Look at Galaxy Cluster MACS0416

Video Credit: NASA / ESA / CSA / STScI /, J. Diego (Instituto de Física de Cantabria, Spain) / J. D’Silva (U. Western Australia) / A. Koekemoer (STScI) / J. Summers & R. Windhorst (ASU / H. Yan (U. Missouri) / N. Bartmann (ESA/Webb)
Music: Stellardrone—Twilight
Creative Commons Attribution License

MIRI Looks at NGC 346

MIRI is the Mid-Infrared Instrument aboard JWST. This false color MIRI image of NGC 346 traces emission from cool gas and dust. Silicates and sooty chemical molecules known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons show up in blue. The more diffuse red emission are from warm dust heated by the brightest and most massive stars in the heart of the region.This image includes 7.7-micron light shown in blue, 10 microns in cyan, 11.3 microns in green, 15 microns in yellow, and 21 microns in red.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / CSA / STScI / N. Habel (JPL).
Image Processing: P. Kavanagh (Maynooth University).


The two red lines in this Hubble image point to a a Luminous Fast Blue Optical Transient (LFBOT) cataloged as AT2023fhn. LFBOTs shine intensely in blue light and evolve rapidly, reaching peak brightness and then fading in a matter of days. Supernovae, on the other hand, take weeks or months to dim. All other LFBOTs have been found in star-forming regions in the spiral arms of galaxies, Tbut this latest transient lies well away from the barred spiral galaxy at right and the dwarf galaxy to the upper left. It’s not clear what astronomical event would trigger such a blast far outside of a galaxy. ‘Tis a puzzlement.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / STScI / Ashley Chrimes (ESA-ESTEC/Radboud University)

Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann

73P/Schwassmann–Wachmann (aka Schwassmann–Wachmann 3 or SW3) is a periodic comet that has a 5.4 year orbital period and that has been actively disintegrating since 1995. It initially broke into four large pieces labeled 73P-A, B, C and D. As of March 2006, at least eight fragments were known: B, C, G, H, J, L, M and N. This animated gif of Fragment B was put together from Hubble images taken over a period of 3 days in April, 2016.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / STScI

JWST Looks at Neptune

JWST has turned its IR vision on Neptune. The eight planet’s dark and ghostly appearance is caused by atmospheric methane absorbing infrared light. High clouds above most of Neptune’s absorbing methane easily stand out in this image. Because its surface is coated with frozen nitrogen, Neptune’s largest moon Triton (in the upper left) is brighter in than Neptune in reflected IR sunlight. It’s surrounded by JWST’s characteristic diffraction spikes.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / CSA / STScI

Seeing Through a Dark Nebula

A  pair of young stars lie at the center of the prominent reddish diffraction spikes in this NIRcam image from JWST. Energetic jets of gas from HH (Herbig-Haro) 46/47 extend for over a light-year though a dark nebula that hides the stars when viewed with visible light. JWST’s infrared vision allows a deeper view.

Image Credit:NASA / ESA / CSA
Processing: Joseph DePasquale (STScI)

Some Loose Boulders

This image of the Dimorphos was taken by Hubble about four months after the asteroid was hit by the DART mission (Double Asteroid Redirection Test). Hubble’s sensitivity reveals dozens of boulders knocked loose by the impact. They are among the faintest objects Hubble has ever photographed in the Solar System. Hubble’s photometry suggests the boulders range from 3 to 22 feet across. They are drifting away from the asteroid at a roughly a half-mile per hour.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / David Jewitt (UCLA) / Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

To Maisie’s Galaxy

This 3D visualization portrays flies away from the Earth at a speed of 200 million light-years per second. The appearances of the galaxies change because the more distant objects are seen at earlier times in the universe, when galaxies were less developed. The video ends at Maisie’s Galaxy, which formed only 390 million years after the big bang.

Video Credits:
Visualization: Frank Summers, Greg Bacon, Joseph DePasquale, Leah Hustak, Joseph Olmsted, and Alyssa Pagan (STScI)
Science: Steve Finkelstein (UT Austin) / Rebecca Larson (RIT) / Micaela Bagley (UT Austin)
Music: Spring Morning, Maarten Schellekens CC BY-NC 4.0

Extra Deep

This infrared image from the James Webb Space Telescope was taken for the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey,( aka JADES) program. It peers into a portion of an area of the sky well studied by other observatories known as GOODS-South. This is a very low-resolution version of the image. More than 45,000 galaxies are visible the high-resolution version found here.

Image:NASA / ESA / CSA / Brant Robertson (UC Santa Cruz) / Ben Johnson (CfA) / Sandro Tacchella (Cambridge) / Marcia Rieke (University of Arizona) / Daniel Eisenstein (CfA)
Image Processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

A Lenticular Seyfert Galaxy

NGC 5283 is a lenticular galaxy, and like about 10 percent of all galaxies, it’s also a Seyfert galaxy with and active galactic nucleus (AGN). An AGN is an extremely bright region at the heart of a galaxy around its supermassive black hole. When dust and gas fall into the black hole, the matter heats up and emits light across the electromagnetic spectrum. Some AGNs emit so much radiation they outshine their host galaxies. Seyfert galaxies differ from other galaxies with AGNs because the galaxy itself is clearly visible.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / A. Barth (University of California – Irvine) / M. Revalski (STScI)
Processing: Gladys Kober (NAS A/ Catholic University of America)

M87 in 3D

This 3D model of elliptical galaxy M87 was created using a Hubble Space Telescope photo. The grid is overlayed to trace out its three-dimensional shape which was derived from observations made with the Hubble and Keck telescopes. The galaxy is too far away for earth-based or orbiting telescopes to employ stereoscopic vision, so observations of the motion of stars around the center of M87 were used to construct this three-dimensional view of how stars are distributed within the galaxy.

Video Credits—
Animation: NASA / ESA / Joseph Olmsted (STScI)
3D Model: Frank Summers (STScI)

Mergers and Acquisitions

As the two spiral galaxies in Apr 220 collide, they’re glowing in infrared with the light of more than a trillion suns. The merger of the galaxies has ignited a tremendous burst of star birth, and each galactic core is surrounded by a star-forming ring JWST has captured in infrared.

Image Credits: NASA / ESA / CSA / STScI / Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

Hubble v. JWST

These two images are of the same part of the sky. The image on the left is from the original Hubble Ultra Deep Field observation. JWST’s Near-Infrared Camera took the image on the right. Hubble’s observation with its Wide Field Camera 3, required an exposure time of 11.3 days. The JWST image only took 0.83 days. Several areas within the Webb image reveal previously invisible, red galaxies. You can download the full resolution from the Space Telescope Science Institute.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / CSA / Joseph DePasquale (STScI).

JWST’s IR View of NGC 1433

The James Webb Space Telescope is giving high resolution view into the fine structure of nearby galaxies and how the formation of young stars affects that structure. NGC 1433 is a barred spiral galaxy with a particularly bright core surrounded by a pair of star forming rings. In this image of NGC 1433, blue, green, and red were assigned to Webb’s MIRI data at 7.7, 10 and 11.3, and 21 µm.

Image Credits: NASA / ESA / CSA / J. Lee (NOIRLab).
Image processing: A. Pagan (STScI)

A Fading Singray

This video shows how the planetary nebula Hen 3-1357 (aka the Stingray Nebula) has faded since the mid 1990s. The nebula is first seen as photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1996, with filaments and tendrils of gas glowing bright blue at its center. Then it transitions to Hubble’s 2016 image, which shows a much dimmer nebula lacking in the pronounced wavy edges.

Video Credit: NASA / ESA/ STScI